The wolf has been part of the lore of our history for hundreds and hundreds of years. Tales of wolves attacking humans and transforming them into werewolves are still being told today whether in movies or books, or stories around a campfire in the woods.
These beautiful, yet fierce creatures are stunning but mysterious. There are over 70 different types of wolves, but many scientists disagree whether they are actually different species of wolves, or just a sub-species of some of the more common wolves such as the Gray and Red Wolf. Some scientists believe that these 2 wolves are the only two true species of wolves.
The Gray Wolf is the most common ripe of wolf in the world. Gray Wolves can be found in Europe, but are most common in Asia, Canada and the upper United States, especially Alaska.
This wolf is the largest member of the canine family. This is the same animal family that your dog is part of.
The familiar howl of the wolf is used to communicate to other wolves to locate one another, or to warn another wolf to stay out of its territory.
Wolves live in groups called packs. Usually these packs have around 10 wolves, but some packs have been seen to have 30 or more wolves.
Each wolf pack has an 'Alpha Male'. This means that this wolf is the leader, and is the only male wolf allowed to mate with the females.
When a wolf is being playful, it will bounce around happily, bow its head with its rump still in the air, and wag its tail. This is no different than how your pet dog acts when it wants to play with you. Remember, the two types of animals are very closely related, and many of their actions and habits are quite alike.
Wolves are very scary animals! Their big sharp teeth and the way they howl can frighten even the bravest of adults! There isn't much to fear from wolves though. They don't attack unless threatened, but they are very aggressive when they need to be! Once you realise they aren't very dangerous, you can see how they are actually very beautiful animals.Ethiopian wolf
Ethiopian wolves' main prey are giant mole rats (Tachyoryctes macrocephalus) which make up nearly half of their diet when available. The wolves lie on the mounds made by the giant mole rats. These make good ambush sites. Ethiopian wolves live in packs with two or more adult females, five closely related males and the current offspring of the dominant pair. The females do not always mate with the males in their pack; indeed, three-quarters of matings may be with males from neighbouring packs.
Ethiopian wolves have reddish-ginger coats, with white throat patches, inner ears, underparts and lower legs, and dark tails. They have long legs, long muzzles and squared-off noses and upper lips.
These wolves are extremely vocal, using all types of howls, yelps and screams to mark their territories, which may be 2.4 - 12sq km (1 - 4.5sq miles) in size. They forage alone, but the animals will meet in the morning, midday and evening to rest, play, sleep, feed their pups and mark boundaries. This is when they are most vocal.
Distribution: Restricted to the Ethiopian Highlands of Africa.
Habitat: Alpine moorlands.
Food: Naked mole rats and other rodents, hares and antelope calves.
Size: 1.3 m (4.25 ft); 11 - 19 kg (24 - 42 lb).
Breeding: 2 - 6 pups born from August to December.
Life span: Unknown.
Status: Critically endangered.
There are different kinds of wolves in the world, but one thing holds true for them all—they look a lot like dogs! That's because they’re related to dogs; therefore, if you have a pet dog, he or she is, in fact, a cousin of the wolf! Wolves have often been said to look a lot like the dog breed German Shepherd, or like sled dogs.
They have narrow chests, large heads, straight tails, long legs, and big paws. Their fur is longer in the winter (in order to keep them warm), and shorter in the summer. They range in color from gray to brown, black, reddish, and even pure white! They have strong jaws for crushing their food, and are able to cover long distances in a short amount of time because they are so fast.